What Causes Black Mold?

Black mold is the name given to a a slimy black-greenish mold that can be a serious health risk. Black mold, or Strachybotrys chartarum as it is scientifically named, is a mold that grows in buildings which we live and work. It is strongly associated with the death of infants due to respiratory bleeding and black mold can also aggravate conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. The Center for Disease Control has stated that Black mold is responsible for around 100 causes of lung disorders.

Almost everybody will find some kind of mold in their home. It is hard for the dangerous molds to be distinguished from the molds that are harmless, therefore all mold should be treated as being potentially dangerous and they should be removed from the home.

What Causes Black Mold?

Normal everyday activities such as showering, baths, washing and drying laundry, dishwashers, cooking, and even breathing all contribute to the moisture levels in a house. Without the correct ventilation or preventative measures, this can cause black mold and damp problems over time.

Condensation can sometimes be eradicated by inserting air bricks or opening windows to improve air circulation, but this is not always practical or possible in winter months or cold weather. And if you have spent money on insulating your house, cold draughts from open windows may not be welcome. Quite often, our homes may have advanced, but our ventilation hasn’t kept pace.

The usual cause of mold and black mold around the house is prolonged dampness or condensation. This may be caused by a source of dampness like rising damp or a damp basement, but in nearly all cases, it is poor air quality caused by a lack of proper ventilation.

What Is Condensation?

Condensation is caused by air-borne moisture particles, minute droplets of water suspended in the air. Think of it as an invisible indoor fog that turns back to water on contact with a cold surface, especially where there is no air movent.

For example, if you breathe in a mirror or glass, you will see a fine fog form, that’s condensation. A few seconds later, and it is gone, evaporated back into the air to join the rest; it’s as simple as that.

Window condensation – This is everyone’s image of condensation, droplets of water formed on the glass. You don’t want all this excess water absorbed into timber, brickwork, soft furnishings, plaster, and drywall to make it damp and stale. Mold loves it.

Common Places To Find Black Mold

Black mold is normally the first visible indicator that you may have a problem.

Where does black mold grow? They often be seen in bathrooms, bath tiles, above skirting boards, exterior walls, and plaster walls such as drywall, ceilings, behind beds and wardrobes, inside wardrobes, and cupboards, around windows and window frames. It’s a very long list.

Ho here are some of the common places to find black mold:

Mold above skirting boards

Normally seen on or near an outside wall because that wall is colder than the inside walls, often unseen until furniture like a bed, cupboard, or wardrobe is moved away. It can also indicate penetrating or rising dampness, so check guttering, damp proof courses, and external pipes.

Black mold in the bathroom

Black mold in the bathroom

Again, you can see how black mold has grown not only on the outside walls but any cold surface on the bathroom ceiling near the outside walls. A lack of sufficient insulation in the attic near the outside walls can also help to attract condensation and mold.

Black mold on ceilings

Black mold on ceilings

This is an example of mold and condensation attracted by the cold surface that is the uninsulated part of the attic space where it has been difficult to get to from inside the house. This is not just an example of bad insulation; it’s a warning sign that your home is too humid.

Black mold around windows

This is very common around windows and window frames with single or double glazing.

Hidden mold

Sometimes mold may be hiding in places you don’t check. In these cases, your nose may help you. Common and noticeable symptoms are moldy smells, a mildew smell, or musty odors, which can alert you to hidden mold that, in bad cases, could be underneath floors or inside drywall cavities.

How To Get Rid Of Mold

There are many different levels of mold problems. Thankfully, most people only suffer from small patches or confided areas of black mold. These localized black molds are normally found in the wettest rooms in our houses, such as bathrooms and kitchens, and can still be a nuisance to deal with. If you’re unlucky, you may spot mold or mildew elsewhere in the house, like bedroom windows, glass, and walls.

Don’t let mold take hold: We have made the most basic mold removal steps available as an easy three-stage plan that is accessible at the bottom of the page and via large icons on the right-hand side of the website. Here are those stages explained:

  • Stop condensation – Understand what you can do to stop condensation and mold
  • Prevent mold – How to control indoor humidity and make mold suffer
  • Clean mold – Now the mold is beaten, let’s really clean up

Take it a step further? If you still have problems after the first three stages of mold prevention and mold eradication, please take a look at our listed air quality control measures, again featured on the right-hand side of the website.

  • Dehumidifier – The best home dehumidifier with low running costs.
  • P.I.V. systems – Home ventilation and air purification.
  • Heat recovery – Not just home ventilation, home heat recycling too.

Okay, now we know what mold is. Let’s kill it, clean it, and cure it.

Mas Broto

Written by: Mas Broto

Mas Broto is a small business owner with 30 years experience in the real estate industry. He is the founder and editor of theDailyThrive.net, the most comprehensive free home improvement website on the planet!